Friday, March 28, 2003

Why should Bush be the only one to manipulate the events in Iraq for political gain?

California Rep. Darrell Issa, whose sixth-top contributor is Qualcomm, is lobbying Congress to build a new cellular network -- from scrach -- using the U.S. standard CMDA (popularized by Qualcomm) rather than the existing GSM standard (popular in Europe).

His reasoning? That way people using their cell phones (or should I call them freedom phones?) while rebuilding Iraq will be helping funnel money to Americans "If European GSM technology is deployed in Iraq, much of the equipment used to build the cell phone system would be manufactured in France, Germany, and elsewhere in western and northern Europe." For shame!

While we're at it, why don't we bomb all the buildings so that American contractors can make money rebuilding them? Oh, wait.

At least Issa's not ashamed of this blatant pandering to a campaign contributor: He said, "It happens that the A-prime beneficiary would be Qualcomm." (Just in case the company missed the significance of this move.)

I wonder how many of the 5 million residents of Baghdad have CMDA-equipped phones.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

It's been two weeks since my last posting.

The main reason I fell off the wagon is that my grandmother, Harriet Stockdale, died March 14. She was 84, the first grandparent I've lost.

Grandma was not a June Cleaver type. She smoked like a chimney when she was allowed, which was never anymore, given that she was on 100 percent oxygen all the time and couldn't shake her pneumonia. She swore a lot, seldom cooked and hardly ever left the house.

She loved to watch tennis on television — an infinitely boring sport for children; I could never understand her fascination. And her youngest grandchildren and great-grandchildren often made her uneasy nowadays. Such rambunctious behavior was unnerving. Somehow, I understood that.

Although I don't really know what kind of mother she was, I can guess by looking at her children. I know the family often lived a tough life, with quick tempers and little money. Grandpa traveled a lot with his fishing-lure business, and Grandma was left to raise four unruly children mostly on her own. My father and his siblings are hellions now, and I can scarcely imagine what they were like then.

Grandma lived a tough life; I don't think there's any getting around that. She found ways to be happy, though, thank God. And I'm glad that in adulthood I got to know her better, was able to ask her stories about her past. It's hard to imagine, though, that when I get married or have children, that she won't be there. She'll never see me in a wedding dress, and I'll never have pictures of my babies sitting on her lap.

And my dad will never get to talk to his mother again. It's impossible for me to grasp a loss that consuming.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

The thought of this happening to me is scary. And it's not just because it's a gynecological exam, which is pretty personal; any kind of physical exam done without a patient's permission -- by students -- is ridiculous. And the fact that it took embarassed students to stop the practice?!


My latest idea for artwork, and I'll warn you: It involves pink shaving gel. And it's not very artistic.

My pink shaving gel always has the neatest look in my hand right after it squirts out. It's bright pink and translucent and always has a different shape. Then, slowly, it begins to puff out, turning more opaque and a paler pink. This transformation just has to be photographed.

I think I'm the first to come up with this. Imagine.


Important date coming up: Friday, March 21, Corbett's birthday and the date of the Sea and Cake concert. All of you who enjoy esoteric reviews of great bands will appreciate this review in Pitchfork. I've read it several times because it makes me chuckle, and I like to chuckle. So should you.

One thing about living in Wichita and going to shows is that it always requires a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Lawrence. When I was driving back and home from college, it was the worst drive ever. When listening to mixed CDs and being kooky with friends on the way to a good show, however, it cooks.

Longest I've ever driven for a show: Five and a half hours
Number of times I've seen Stephen Malkmus play live: Six (This is subject to editing)
First live show: Pearl Jam WHAT?!
Number of states I've seen shows in: Seven (This is also subject to editing)

It was in the 70s today, after months of bitter cold that even I have tired of. And although I miss the snow, I'm super-excited about the prospect of going camping this weekend.

Fajitas. Scatter cakes. Wine out of the bottle.

S'mores. Washers. The Woodman and "I Don't Care" dances.

One of the reasons I'm really, really glad to have another year in Wichita is to give me time to go camping with friends again. (And, no, I never thought I'd number nights at Winfield Lake as some of the best ever.)

If only there were some way to have snow and 70-degree weather.

Jealous of my other friends with blogs, I've decided to try this out.

Will I ever have anything to say? There's no telling.

But no one's ever accused me of being succinct.